Step-Parent Adoption - Aurora,CO

Updated on May 17, 2007
C.S. asks from Aurora, CO
8 answers

I need help! My fiance would like to adopt my daughter who is now 13 months old. We have been together since she was 3 months old. I will make a long story short...her birth father doesn't want any place in her life and I am fine with that because she has a "daddy" in my fiance. Her birth-family, however, would like to be a part of her life and I am more than open to that though I do believe that it should be with healthy boundaries respecting my fiance. He does not want them in her life and believes that it is a bad choice for her stating that since birth-father relenquished rights that they should too. We have almost ended our relationship recently because of this but I believe that there is an island that we can all co-exist on. Have any of you gone through this or have advice? I am at a loss and don't want to lose him.

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A.Z.

answers from Denver on

Hi C.,

I was adopted by my step-dad when I was 6 years old. My bio-dad had remarried and his new wife wouldn't let him be a part of my life since I was 2. His family on the other hand had been there for me and my mom and wanted to be able to stay apart of my life. I was a very lucky girl and had 3 sets of grandparents instead of 2. I would spend the weekend with my grandparents and go on vacations with them. My bio-dad had 4 other children and my grandparents wanted us to have a relationship so they would get us all together with out my dad or his wife around. Now that I am grown I am very thankful for this. i got to know my siblings and still have a relationship with them. I think my mom made the right choice in letting me spend time with my grandparents and I am very thankful to my dad for adopting me.

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A.M.

answers from Denver on

I didn't have your exact situation but I am a step-mom to a wonderful 8yr. old daughter. My husband and I met when she was almost 3. Things were a bit rough at first re: her mother but now we all really do get along... even to the point that her parents are friendly with us at soccer games etc. I truly beleive that you have to do the best thing for the child and that sometimes means you and your fiance will be uncomfortable but eventually, you'll adjust. Everyone must make adjustments, put aside feelings and focus on what would make the most sense for her. Her birth-family has every right to have a relationship with her and your fiance will just have to make the best relationship with them because a child can never have enough people that love them in this world. Unfortunatly, he's in the wrong... stick to your guns and let him know that it's very improtant that your daughter know her family. With time, patients and flexiblity on all parties accounts you will raise a happy, healthy child. Good luck.

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H.S.

answers from Salt Lake City on

C.
I'd like to offer a little insight from the opposite end. When I was a girl, age 5, I was adopted by my step-father. At the time this was the best solution for our family. My mother was ill, and if anything happened to her she wanted him to raise us. We had to go through court proceedings, etc. to see if this is what we wanted as well. Although in our situation my adopted father, nor my mother ever stopped allowing us to see our biological dad. We still saw him, still saw his family, we just had a different last name. This all worked out until my parents divorced. Now as an adult, my adopted father, whom I carry his name as my maiden name, has nothing to do with us. It's pretty sad because my dad who could have given up his right to us legally, never turned his back on us. But the man who said he wanted to be our dad...did. I would hate for your child to be in this situation, but no one can predict what the future holds. I don't have any harsh feelings for my parents doing this to us, but I wish that they would have thought about what the future would bring them as a married couple first...

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M.B.

answers from Denver on

A child should always know both sides of the family, if only for the background. I have a 3 yr old son who has not seen his father since he was 4 mos old, but still talks to his uncle on that side. I feel just becasue his dad is a dead beet does not mean the reast of the family is. I am very open with my son and even show him pictures of his father, even though he has a dad, he needs to know where he came from and his background. I am in my 30's and I don't know who my father is, and sometimes would like to know. I would not keep that feeling from any child.

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T.H.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I work for an attorney that does adoption. I know for a step parent adoption you have to married for a year first. If the Biological father has signed over his rights, it should be an easy process once you have the year under your belt. I am not sure about the biological family wanting to be involved. I don't really know the law about that, but if you would like more you can email me at [email protected]____.com
T.

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J.L.

answers from Denver on

I went through just about everything you are above and still trying to finalize it all. One thing to note off the bat is that he cannot even attempt to adopt her or start the process until you both have been married by court law for one year. (common law does not work)we just hit our 1 year anniversary of being married and started the backround checks etc. to help the fathers family deal with all of this happening I now send them monthly packages of my daughter and report cards, pics, etc. this way they are still part and when she is old enough to decide if she wants to get to know them I will allow it. Good luck to you! it is a very long process and maintaining the peace until it is final is hard but well worth it in the end.

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L.

answers from Denver on

Hi C.,
You are right in that there should be an island where everyone can co-exist, and I think in the long run, that will be the healthiest thing for your daughter. Have you considered getting a third party professional perspective on this? They could evaluate the situation, ask questions to understand your fiance's resistance (i.e., does he feel threatened by the presence of the birth father's family in her life?), and help find an outcome that is in your children's best interest. My pediatrician gave me a name of a woman who is good with kids and families -- Mary Stall ###-###-####). You might want to give her a call to see if she can help or if she can refer you to someone who might be able to help.
Good luck!!
L.

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K.D.

answers from Salt Lake City on

My brother was somewhat the same situation as your fiance, although the biological father's family wanted nothing to do with the baby either (he eventually adopted him although it was years later). But I think you are in the best position to decide if having your daughter's birth-family be in her life or not. If you think that they are good people, with good intentions and won't interfere with how you and your fiance raise her or try to convince her birth-father to become involved in her life at a later date, then I think it would be really nice for her to have them in her life. But if you think it will cause problems (for her and for you and your fiance), then maybe it's best that they aren't. I would definitely find out if your fiance had legitimate reasons for wanting them out of her life or is it just that he's worried that her birth-father might want her back at some point. He may just be scared of losing you both. You may want to sit down with your fiance and decide what areas and how much her birth-family can be involved and then explain that if they cross those lines, they won't be allowed to see her anymore. I think if you are all on the same page with the same "rules" things would go smoothly.
Good luck!

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